Tag Archives: blogging 101

Coffee with Wings #1

As part of Blogging 101, I am going to add a feature which will appear weekly. On considering my blog, its purpose and flavor, I have decided to add a scripture verse of the week every Monday. This will set the tone for the rest of the week. I am not going to make it complicated and time-consuming with added images or other embellishments because I would also like people to be able to reply with their verse of the week. A plain verse is fine but what it means to you is also fine.  So here goes:

Verse for this week, particularly for bloggers who feel called to spread inspiration, encouragement and support. What you are sharing are seeds of life.

“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Pledge Allegiance.”

I grew up in the era of hymns and I am still moved and inspired by the old words.  One of my favourites and possibly the most challenging is “I Vow to You, my Saviour.”

It was written by Richard T Bewes after “I vow to Thee my Country” by Celcil Spring-Rice to the music from Thaxted (1921) from Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity  from The Planets (Op32) (1914-1916) by Gustav Holt

I am not often in a position where I can pray it honestly and sincerely. My dedication to my Lord fluctuates as I keep trying to take back control of my life which I have surrendered to Him. However, today’s prompt has reminded me where my allegiance must be.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/

I vow to you, my Saviour, all earthly things above,

Entire, and whole and perfect, the service of my love.

The love that asks no questions, the love that stands the test,

That lays upon the alter the dearest and the best.

The love that never falters, the love that knows the price,

The love that stands indebted before your sacrifice………..

….So light the fire withing me, and let me fan the flame

and fill me with the Spirit, that I may bear your Name.

In season and in hardship, to run my given race.

O keep me ever-burning until I see your face.

I vow to you my Saviour, that where your feet have trod,

I’ll serve and always follow my Master and my God.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-pledge-allegiance/”>I Pledge Allegiance</a>

Impossible Woman

 
supergirl

 

Photo from http://harben-pictures.deviantart.com/art/Supergirl-311730139

I don’t know if anybody else out there has been intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman but I try to avoid  reading that chapter. I fall so far short. She is constantly busy, getting up before sunrise to cook- or maybe she just never goes to bed. because her lamp does not go out at night. She runs a fashion business, is rich enough to buy real estate from her profits but still has time to make home-made bed linen and clothes for her family. She also has time to do gardening, planting a vineyard with her own hands and she is probably planning to start a wine business on the side. She  does charity work and has time to give wise advice and teach others. She is a mother and presumably still has time for her husband too.

I started thinking about this impossible woman again today when I read Evelyn’s post Everlasting Love. As a single woman, instead of looking for the one, she strives to make herself the one.  Of course she can no more be perfect than any one of us but I admire where her heart and her passion are. It is a noble goal.

I remembered the opening verse of Proverbs 31. “The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him.” My aha! moment. His mother taught him all this.I am a mother of an unattached son in his twenties. If I were to make a list of characteristics of his future wife she would also not be real.

She would have to be a Christian, of course, preferably involved in some ministry that they can do together. I would like her to have a career of her own but be prepared to put it aside or do it from home when the children come. She would need to be intelligent with a good general knowledge to fit in with my son. She would have to think my son is wonderful and do everything to please him but still keep her own individuality and have some interests of her own. I would like her to be scientifically minded, like me, but also good at crafts and homemaking. Moreover she would have to be thrifty at running a home, good with people, able to do her own housework if necessary, be a wonderful mother. If she happened to be or have been a Girl Guide or Girl Scout, so much the better. Being a good cook is quite important but so is a being a good washer of dishes. She would need to be interested in sport as my son is a Sport Scientist, as well as interested in competitive Ball Room and Latin dancing so she could partner my son. If in addition to all these things she was beautiful and free from any potential life threatening illnesses, bonus! I agree with King Lemuel’s mother. “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.”  In other words she is totally trustworthy and faithful and brings out the best in my son.

I am pretty sure that when my son does come home with the woman he wants to marry, she won’t fulfill all the criteria. The woman I had in mind is nothing more than a mother’s day dream. I believe my son has sense enough to choose a Christian girl who fears the Lord but for the rest, if she makes him happy and does him good, I am sure we will love her and thank God for her every day.

So I no longer feel I have to live up to the Proverbs 31 Impossible Woman. God will continue to work in my life growing me closer to His image.

May you, too, be free of this standard of perfection.

Meeting some neighbors

For today’s assignment I searched tags of Christian inspiration. What a brainwave! I was indeed inspired. I met a black lady whose mission was to inspire. Meet her here. I met somebody who had had a very preemie baby and was thankful for the roadblocks meet her here and somebody who had had to leave her home with four children because of water damage meet her here and somebody who inspired me with a devotional that included a “fill in the blanks” prayer. devotional here.

Thank you to all of you, You have all brought me closer to my God today. I love finding people in other countries who believe the same as I do, who are strong in their faith and are brave enough to share it in the blogging community.

Why I wrote “The Saddest Little Sugar Bowl in the World”

Isn’t it amazing that God makes us each individually handcrafted as a non-repeatable, original masterpiece then we do our best to make ourselves into copies!

When my children were still at the age of picture books, about 25 years ago, I came across a series of Serendipity books. They were expensive but like all mothers, I wanted the absolute  best for my children. The  one I remember best was called “Leo the Lop” by Stephen Cosgrove  and illustrated by Robin James. Leo the Lop

It was a charming book about a bunny who had abnormal ears. He tried hard to be like the other bunnies but finally had to realize that whatever you are is normal. I loved the concept of teaching children to accept themselves no matter what.

Later when I entered a competition run by the Eastern Province Writers Club for children between 3 and 6 years, I decided to write a story specifically for young children who felt they were somehow different. I also wanted to include counting and colour recognition. I introduce the concept of God as the Maker but in a suitably obscure way that it would not prevent non-Christian parents from buying the book. I consider it my best work to date. My daughter, Mandy, painted the pictures for me.

Sugar Bowl Cover

Since then I have come across a number of children who feel different. I have unofficially dedicated the book to Isabelle de Groot. She is the daughter of my ex boss and she got to have the first copy printed on the computer and arranged in a pocket file. She was three at the time and took it to her nursery school.  The children enjoyed it. That was when I decided to self publish. Five  or more years later, Isabelle  got her wish, a baby sister – only Charlotte was born with Downs Syndrome and only lived for seven months. Isabelle now has a signed copy for her and Charlotte. Many other children I have come across feel different. There are others with Downs Syndrome, some with thick glasses, one is a dwarf. I would like all these children to know that God has a plan for their life. They have a purpose and can enrich the world and be part of God’s master plan which we don’t understand.

Getting the book published has been very up and down. Originally the Writers club told us that the top three entries would be published by a local South African publishing company but after two years I gave up hope of that prospect.

Later, after a lot of searching on the internet and trying to find an agent and nearly getting involved in a scam scheme. I did find an agent in South Africa. She was very excited about my book and was going to take it to book fairs here and abroad. After six months she decided to emigrate to Australia and start a new career.

I felt demotivated but still believed in my book. At my son’s advice, I decided to self-publish on Lulu.com where my book can still be ordered and printed. However, even with author discount, it was too expensive in foreign currency to enable me to buy a batch and sell them here.

Finally I found a publisher who would do small runs and a reasonable price and I had 50 printed. I have managed to get rid of most of them and I am trying to decide whether to have more printed. However I am by nature introverted and I am no salesman. None of the book shops I have approached have been interested in selling my book. Maybe I just don’t have the right contacts.

If you would like  a free e copy, you can click on the sugar bowl image in the side bar and you will be taken to the Lulu.com site. The book is free but you need to add it to your cart.

I have written other books- more children’s books usually with a moral and i am hoping to find an illustrator who is prepared to come into partnership with me and we will share (any) profits.

Tags and Titles

I like my blog’s title. “Coffee in the Rain.” It conjures up images of things not going according to my plan. I am wet and miserable. Somebody offers me a cup of cappuccino. It doesn’t make me dry or change the situation but it warms me up and makes me feel better. Then I can actually take a step back and notice that rain is actually beautiful. Rain is life. Some people pray for rain.

Some years ago my Son, David, ran a website called Coffee in the Rain. It was a collection of inspirational stories that people could subscribe to and add to. I have his permission to use his title.

The tagline is what I want to tell the World. God has a plan for your life. Things may seem difficult or even impossible, but God has a plan. We might even come to the end of our life and not know what God’s plan was, but God has a plan.

Inspired by the song “God has a plan for my life” by Debby Kerner Rettino

for full lyrics click here

Testing my wings

I wrote a little while ago about How I got to start this blog. How it all Began Taking the course on Blogging 101 is a little baby step in the blogging direction. I still don’t know what I am called to write so from the fiction side I have joined The South African Writers Circle and am trying to submit work once a month.

The purpose of my blog is to help other people also to realise that God has a plan for their lives too. I know He has a plan for mine, even if He isn’t always very forthcoming with details. Sometimes I forget this fact, especially when things are going badly and I am feeling depressed. I would like to share encouragement and insight.

I would like to connect with other Christians and see what the rest of the body is up to.

I have a couple of other blogs. One is personal and not for sharing, one is about how I got to start a Guide Company in a disadvantaged black area and then subsequently took over another company as well and finally closed the first one. Now it is mostly photos of our activities. See  My Guide blog   One was started as a travel log when we went to visit my son and daughter-in-law in New Zealand and meet our new grandson. It then evolved to include other places we have visited. See My travel blog. My last blog was taken from a booklet I made for the Eskom Eta awards to encourage energy efficiency and is about saving energy while cooking as well as recipes to use a solar oven, hot box or combination. See Energy efficient cooking.

So now you know a reasonable amount about me. I am a mother and grandmother, wife, Christian, Guider and am excited about energy saving. I love to travel but usually can’t afford it.  I can add that I am a scientist working as a lab assistant in  a high school, I enjoy crafts, I am a chocoholic and love cats.